Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hillel Birthright Divrei Torah by Rabbi Reuven Boshnack

Rabbi Reuven Boshnack led a Hillel Birthright trip that ended last week. During the trip, he made a few videos of divrei Torah that he did with the participants. Here are a few of them!

Before going to Na'aleh Film School - The place of Art in Jewish life and thought:



Meditation done in the middle of a hike

Devar torah on bus, post yad vashem and Har Herzel on kedusha, kedoshim and kadish - Kedusha is the opposite of "devarim shel mabakach" -



After visiting Golan Winery



Final Speech at end of trip - Keep Eretz Yisroel with you!

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Yosef Karduner Singing "Amar Rabbi Akiva" From Lag B'Omer Concert

Such an awesome niggun, I can't stand it...Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Possible Answer From Bilaam on Tzadikim Knowing Our Thoughts/Deeds/Actions

When I asked how it could be that many Tzadikim don't seem to know hidden things about me, I didn't expect to find my answer in this past Shabbos' parsha! For those who didn't see the post, I quoted a ma'amar a commenter pointed out to me from the Mittler Lubavitcher Rebbe, which mentioned that it is well known that one's thoughts, deeds, and plans are revealed to Tzadikim. I pointed out that I have met with several Tzadikim, and while it was always a good experience, I still got the impression that they did not know more about me than I revealed to them or which was apparant from whatever I did say/do.

But in this past week's parsha, Balak, Hashem appeared to Bilaam at night and asked him, "Who are these men with you?" The Midrash Raba (Bamidbar 20:6) indicates that Bilaam thought that Hashem's question meant that He is not always aware of what was happening on earth, so that he might be able to curse the Jews effectively.

I see from this medresh that it is a sign of ga'ava for someone to think that just because someone great acts as if he doesn't know something, that he doesn't actually know it.

The commenters on that previous post suggested that for one reason or another, the Tzadikim today may not have ruach hakodesh and that is why they don't know my deeds, thoughts, and plans. But it could be that they did know, but for one reason or another, chose to act as if they didn't. It could be a sign of anava on their part, so as not to appear like a wonder-worker. It could be that they wanted to give me the chance to confess my inner life to them of my own free will because it wouldn't have been productive for them to throw me into that situation if I didn't initiate it. In any case, this Midrash with Bilaam shows that there is a lot more going behind the scenes that what is apparant when Hashem or a Tzadik appears not to know "what's going on in the world."

Kol tuv!

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beautiful Shabbos Niggunim in Baltimore Led By Rav Goldberger

Rav Goldberger here leads a Shabbos "rally" in Baltimore with some beautiful niggunim. As always, he has an amazing voice and they sing a number of beautiful niggunim, including the famous "Baltimore" niggun that Rav Goldberger himself composed, at the end. Enjoy.

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Tzadikim Knowing Your Secret Actions, Thoughts, and Plans...

I read the quote below from the Mittler (2nd) Lubavitcher Rebbe's ma'amar, Kuntrus Hahishtatchus. A kind reader from this post on my visit to the Lubavitcher Rebbe's kever, pointed me toward this ma'amar:

Similarly, when a person goes to the grave of a holy tzaddik, he can feel great shame and lose all sense of self concern, because he feels great embarrassment over all his deeds and thoughts which he performed until the present day, for they are all revealed before [the tzaddik]. For even in his lifetime, a tzaddik is aware of another person’s thoughts and designs, as is well known. Surely, this applies after the tzaddik’s passing, for then [his existence] is spiritual.

I understand and aspire to attain all of the different benefits the Mittler Rebbe was talking about in this ma'amar when visiting kivrei Tzadikim. But in the section from which this quote came, he was discussing one of the reasons why one's feeling of yirah, fear, is increased visiting a kever.

Although it does not reflect positively on me, I have a very difficult time believing that living Tzadikim are aware of another person's deeds, thoughts, and designs. I certainly believe that this is true with some of the Tzadikim because I have heard many stories about Tzadikim knowing things about people that they had no natural way of knowing. I also have no trouble believing that Tzadikim know about a person's actions after their petira, since they are no longer bound by this natural world. My difficulty is in accepting the truth of the Mittler Rebbe's statement that living Tzadikim (as a general matter) know a person's deeds, thoughts, and plans.

I have met with several Tzadikim over time and they were so great, l'ein erech, that it would be insulting to them even for me to acknowledge their greatness. But I clearly got the sense that they did not know much more about me besides what I told them and perhaps a little beyond that just by being very perceptive. But I clearly felt that the conversation would have gone differently if they had the kind of vision into me that the Mittler Rebbe is talking about.

Any thoughts?

Picture of Rav Aharon Teitelbaum courtesy of VIN news. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Shir L'ma'alos - Yosef Karduner - Video


This is a nice video that someone did of Reb Yosef Karduer's nigun for "Esah el heharim..." from Tehilim.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dad, I Became a Frummie, But That Doesn't Mean You Should be Angry! - Video

Adi Ran is crazy and I love this song. It is hilarious. In modern Hebrew, "dos" is a pejorative term for a religious Jew so this song is a very funny attempt to tell his parents and grandparents not be be angry with him for becoming religious. There are some really funny lines in there. He is a real character.

The funniest line is "!סבתא - נהייתי דוס, תוציא את השיניים מהכוס"

The person who put this video on Youtube put the lyrics so I'll post them below.


אבא - נהייתי דוס זה לא אומר שאתה צריך לכעוס
אמא - נהייתי דוס זה לא אומר שאת צריכה לכעוס

אומנם נולדתי לדור
שרוב פניו סביבו שחור
אבל גליתי ת'אמת
וכל השאר סתם תפל..

לה לה לה לה לה לה לה לה לה לה לה...
לה לה לה לה לה לה לה לה לה לה לה...

אאאבאאא - נהייתי דוס זה לא אומר שאתה צריך לכעוס
אאאמאאא - נהייתי דוס זה לא אומר שאת צריכה לכעוס

מחר תודיעו לכולם
שיש קדוש ברוך הוא בעולם
ומי שלא רוצה להתעדכן
רחמנא ליצלן מסכן מסכן

לה לה לה לה לה לה לה לה לה לה לה...
לה לה לה לה לה לה לה לה לה לה לה...

סבתאאא - נהייתי דוס תוציא את השיניים מהכוס
סבאאא - ועוד מעט תישברו פה כוס

לה לה לה לה לה פרו ורבו
לה לה לה לה לה פרו ורבו
לה לה לה לה לה פרו ורבו פרו ורבו פרו ורבו פרו ורבו...

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Some of the Ways I'm Preparing for my First Time in "Uman Uman Rosh Hashanah!"

I'm doing some reading and contemplating how to try and prepare myself for going to Uman for the first time this Rosh Hashanah using some books and seforim. My friend Simcha, who's gone for two years so far and took most of these pictures, recommend that I read Through Fire and Water, Reb Noson's biography by Rav Chaim Kramer. So far I'm reading it over Shabbosim and I'm a little over halfway done. It's a very long book but very interesting. It's crazy what Reb Noson had to go through and the way that other Tzadikim and their thugish followers treated him and other Breslovers. The most amazing part of it, though, is just to truly learn from Reb Noson what it really means to attach one's self to a Tzadik totally and completely. He was the perfect talmid. My question from this book is how I can change to become a true talmid of Rav Moshe Weinberger...






A Simple Jew also recommended that I see two other books, which came in the mail last week. I plan to save at least one of them for the plane on the way to Uman. One is Against All Odds, about one person's mesirus Nefesh to be in Uman for Rosh Hashanah when it was still under Soviet control.
By the way, when I ordered these books from the Breslov Research Institute, Rav Chaim Kramer's organization, I was very happy with how it worked. They now have free shipping on all orders, and Yossie Katz, who handles the shipping from Monsey, has done a great job and shipps things out very quickly, B"H.

Interestingly, Yossie Katz is also the author of one of the chapters in the next book A Simple Jew recommended to me here:






The other is Rebbe Nachman and the Knights of the Rosh Hashanah Table. It is a collection of essays from about 50 people, some of whom are pretty well known. They write about how they discovered and became connected to Rebbe Nachman, Breslov, and Uman.
Some of the people featured in this book are Menachem Herman, R. Jonathan Rietti, and Yossie Katz, the the Breslov Research Insititute's illustrious sefer to distributor to all orderees.







My wife asked me to order Rav Ozer Bergman's guide to Hisbodedus, Where Heaven and Earth Kiss. It really is a great and practical book from the parts of it I've looked at. My wife's working on it now and IY"H, I will as well. Hisbodedus is such an ikar in Yiddishkeit and in what Rebbe Nachman teaches, so it's obviously something I need to work on and hopefully Reb Ozer's book will help with that.








I'm also trying to go through and review some of the major pieces in Likutei Moharan like Azamra, Ayeh, and Tinyana 48. It is amazingly deep and the connections are hard to grasp sometimes. But I do find that after the second or third time through, I pick up a few more things. Though it is like that when learning anything deep.

Ashreinu ashreinu ashreinu she'yesh lanu Rebbe kazeh!

IY"H, all of this should lead toward the true tachlis, which is "Va'ani, Kirvas Elokim li Tov."

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Monday, June 21, 2010

In Essence, There is *Only* Hakadosh Baruch Hu - Video

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My first trip to the Lubavitcher Rebbe's Ohel Since About 1997

My in-laws brought over some supplies yesterday for a barbecue for all of us, plus my father-in-law's da'ati sister from Netanya and her husband. Having just come in from Israel, one of the first things they wanted to do was to go to the Lubavitcher Rebbe's z"l's kever. So I agreed to go drive my wife, her family from Israel, her aunt, and my 7 year old daughter and 5 year old son over there.

Backtrack: I have been very reticent to go to the Lubavitcher Rebbe's kever (hereinafter "the Ohel") for a long time, even though it is only about 15 minutes from where I live. In fact, the last time I was there was when I attended a "Pegisha" in Crown Heights in about the fall of 1997. They took everyone to the Ohel that Sunday morning.

While I enjoy and benefit tremendously from learning Tanya with a chevrusa and other Ma'amarim of the Baal Hatanya with Rav Moshe Weinberger over the years, I have never particularly connected with the teachings or personality of the most recent Lubavitcher Rebbe in particular.

Even last week, on the Rebbe's 16th Yohrtzeit, despite the fact that a few people in my Shul and in the blogosphere (thanks Menashe!) encouraged me to go, I simply did not feel the need to go. But circumstances being what they are, Hashem made it that my wife asked me to take her and the family to the Ohel, so I agreed.

A couple of funny things happened despite my efforts to conduct myself at this Tzadik's kever the same as I would at any other Tzadik's kever. I saw that people were writing kvitelach to the Rebbe (or Hashem, I'm not sure) with all of their bakashos/problems, reading them at the Ohel and then tearing them up and throwing them in. In my experience, we write k'vitelach when we go into see a living Tzadik, but not when going to a kever, so I didn't do this although my wife was busy writing up her k'vitel.

I took my Tehilim and went in with my 5 year old son to the Ohel. I said one kepitel Tehillim with him and then he watched everyone else while I continued saying some Tehillim. He asked me why people were ripping up their papers so I told him what they were doing with their k'vitelach. He told me he wanted to do it to. Sigh. The best laid plans of mice and men...

I walked him back into the (amazingly large) building by the Ohel so we could prepare his k'vitel. I asked him what he wanted to daven for so he told me three things. Now bear in mind, he has never really heard of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, he's only 5, and doesn't know of any of the "inyanim" relating to the Rebbe or Lubavitch today. So it was quite interesting to hear the three things he wanted to daven for. One interesting aspect was that he didn't want to ask for anything for himself. Here they are:

-That the Lubavitcher Rebbe should come alive again
-That Moshiach should come
-That the Lubavitcher Rebbe should have a refuah sheleima and not get sick again

That boy is something! So we went back into the Ohel and before we went in, I reminded him that when we go to the kever of a Tzadik, we're davening to Hashem, in the zechus of the Tzadik, but that we never daven to the Tzadik himself. He said his tefilos for those three things, happily ripped up his kevitel, and threw the pieces into the Ohel.

Afterwards, we were waiting for everyone else to finish so I showed him a picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on a brochure so he would know what the Tzadik looked like before he was niftar.

Thinking of his recent tefilos, a short while later, we saw a man sitting in the library over there who had a long white beard just like the Rebbe's. My son pointed excitedly over at the man and said, "Look, he came back already!!!"

Ah, such temimus! B"H K"AH!

Picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, z'l, courtesy of Lubavitch Children's Centre. Picture of the Ohel courtesy of Lubavitch.com. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Reb Yerachmiel's Back in Dixie! Five New Shiurim on Sim Shalom in Shemoneh Esrei

Looks like I'll be sharing round-up posts for Reb Yerachmiel in the future. So now presenting the latest video and audio shiurim below from Reb Yerachmiel Goldman, given at the Baltimore Community Kollel. These shiurim are all on the topic of Berchas “Sim Shalom” in Shemoneh Esrei.

Click on the video links to view the video. To download the audio, just left click the audio link to listen to streaming audio or right click on it and select "Save Target As" to download.

Shiur #1- Sim Shalom- Six Explanations of Shalom (5-9-10)
Video Link
Audio Link

Shiur #2- Sim Shalom- Answering Some Fundamental Questions (5-23-10)
Video Link
Audio Link

Shiur #3- Sim Shalom- Explanation of “Sim” through “Yisroel Amecha” (5-30-10)
Video Link
Audio Link

Shiur #4- Sim Shalom- Seeking Out Hashem's Face (6-5-10)
Video Link
Audio Link

Shiur #5- Sim Shalom- A Lively Shiur on Toras Chaim (6-13-10)
Video Link
Audio Link

Video is Adi Ran singing Sim Shalom... Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Recently Bought My First Uman Plane Ticket For Rosh Hashanah!!!


... And I am very excited!

Every year that I've consistently posted my friends' updates from their Uman trips, I have wanted to go. But law school and work have gotten in my way. But this year, I have already graduated and my post-law-school-job will not yet have started. It is my last perfect chance to go. B"H, the Rebbetzin gave me reshus so IY"H I am on my way! IY"H it should be l'toeles to help em draw closer to the Borei Olam!!!

Uman Uman Rosh Hashanah!!!

P.S. I'll be riding for a day and a half before reaching Uman with Leon (think "Alexi") in the green cab you see here visiting a few Kivrei Tzadikim on the way to Uman...

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

No Matter Who or What I am, I am a Jew - Music Video

My wife really likes this video. And since I just saw it now on Raisin' Soul, I realized that I hadn't shared it before. Enjoy!

Possible Kol Isha note: At one point, there is a large group of people singing, including some women. If you don't rely on "trei kalei lo mishtamei," you might not want to watch the video, or at least you might want to be ready to turn the sound down at that point. Kol tuv.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Even Your Private Successful Battles Make a Difference - Great Story

Shmuel, over at the Tikun! blog, has a great story told to him by the Giores wife in a young couple who ate by him Friday night. She grew up in a Catholic home in the Philipines. In her story, she told of seeing someone's private successful battle against the yetzer hara. The story's a big chizuk to us.

Key quote:
She couldn't believe it! To be sure, she turned around to see if he would maybe turn back after they had passed each other and sneak a peek, but as far as she could tell, he kept going on his way without stopping.

In a place where everyone is looking to satisfy their urges, could such a thing be possible? Who was that boy? Upon returning to her apartment, her roommate informed her that the boy she had seen on the street was a Jew. Until that point, she had never seen a Jew, didn't know what a Jew was or looked like, knew nothing about Jews at all.
Give it a read to read the whole story.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Perfect Public Protest Poster for Ramat Beit Shemesh!

Check out THIS POST by Rabbi Yaakov Haber. Great one. Here's an excerpt:
Now, I live in Ramat Beit Shemesh where new pashkevil were just plastered around the city regarding a new Yeshivah for boys, that in the opinion of the plasterer, does not conform to the ‘long standing’ traditions of Ramat Beit Shemesh. (Ramat Beit Shemesh was founded in 1998).

Pashkevil’s are anonymous. Although they carry the signatures of great Rabbis, these signatures are dubious at best and have seldom been proven to be authentic. To my observation, they seldom accomplish anything positive, while they serve the purpose of promoting division and hate amongst Jews.

This is what the Chofetz Chaim said about Pashkevil’s:
“I must speak out my heart about the manner of conflict taking place among the Jewish people... All of Israel is burning like a fire as each side places more and more ads condemning their opposition... I don’t know who permitted all of these terrible sins. Everyone is sure that he is saying the truth and it is the other opinion that is creating the argument. This is a grave error, because even if both are right, they have no right to violate the Torah. So many mitzvos are being violated. No good can possibly come out of this. Right or wrong, they are creating a chilul Hashem (desecration of G-d’s Name). Twenty-four thousand students of Rabbi Akiva died in one month, not because they argued, but because they argued improperly and caused a chilul Hashem. Certainly each one of these giants felt that he was right.”
So, with the help of my esteemed congregation, Kehilas Shivtei Yeshurun in Ramat Beit Shemesh, I designed a pashkevil of my own. The pashkevil is a verbatim letter of the Chofetz Chaim, signed by the Chofetz Chaim. We will cover every Pashkevil we can find with our pashkevil.

This is the pashkevil to end all pashkevil!


If you’d like to participate in our campaign or for your own copy of the “Chofetz Chaim Pashkevil” – please contact me.
Rabbi Haber has links to PDFs of his "pashkevil" in both Hebrew and the English translation. Definitely check this out.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

New Nachas Hashulchan Shiurim by Rabbi Micha Golshevsky!

Here is the next shiurim by Rabbi Micha Golshevsky in his series of shiurim on the sefer Nachas Hashulchan.

Nachas Hashulchan 1.8 parts ONE and TWO

Nachas Hashulchan 2.1 HERE - Continuation from 1.8

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Shiurim for Women on Breslov Chassidus' Teachings on Women's Mitzvos

Rebbetzin Yehudis Golshevsky is back with several shiurim that she has given recently on women's special mitzvos according to Breslov Chassidus. These shiurim cover the mitzva of Shabbos candles and discusses the difference between holy and unholy fire.

Click here to get her shiur on Likutei Moharan Tinyana 67: PART 1
Click here to get her shiur on Likutei Moharan Tinyana 67: PART 2

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The Ostrova Biale Rebbe in Woodmere Sunday and Monday

The Ostrova Biale Rebbe from Givat Shaul, Jerusalem will be in Woodmere next week Sunday June 6th and Monday June 7th. The Rebbe Shlita will be available for individual private meetings with English-Hebrew interpretation if needed.

Men, women, and couples are all encouraged to make an appointment on either of the following nights:

Sunday June 6th at the home of Seth and Zahava Farbman: 354 Eastwood Road from 4pm - 9pm

Monday June 7th at the home of Allen and Judith Fagin: 120 Woodmere Blvd from 6pm - 10 pm

Please e-mail Zev Alexander or call 917 992 5235 to schedule an appointment.

Please include your name, how many people will go in together, which night, and what time you would like to meet with the Rebbe.

The Ostrova Biale Rebbe is dedicated to the strengthening and growth of every person he meets. The Rebbe is known for his generosity, kindness and love. By looking at every Jew with an open and accepting heart, he has been able to touch the lives of countless people, ranging from simple beggars to high-ranking army and government officials. Hundreds of people from across Israel visit the Rebbe on a weekly basis to seek his guidance and blessings. The Rebbe sees the essence of every Jew with purity and love. He emphasizes kindness, warmth, and goodness towards one another as the essence of Judaism and Torah. The Rebbe’s life is dedicated to the service of the Jewish people. He lives a very humble life with his wife and children in a small apartment in Jerusalem and uses all the funds he raises to support others.

In case people are interested I wanted to include some basic background information on where the Ostrova Biale Rebbe comes from in the chain of students of the Baal Shem Tov:

The Biale dynasty is from Pshisze whose first rebbe was Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok (Yid HaKodesh) of Prshiskhe, a disciple of Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak of Lublin (the Seer of Lublin). The Seer was a disciple of Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk, who was a disciple of Rabbi Dovber of Mezeritch (the Maggid of Mezritch), the leading disciple of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism.

The lineage is below:
Grand Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok of Prshiskhe, the "Yid HaKodesh" (1766-1813), disciple of Rebbe Dovid of Lelów and the Seer of Lublin.

Grand Rabbi Yerachmiel Tzvi Rabinowicz of Prshiskhe (died 1831), son of the Holy Jew.
Grand Rabbi Noson Dovid Rabinowicz of Shidlovtza (d. 7 Marcheshvan 1865), son of Rebbe Yerachmiel Tsvi
Grand Rabbi Yitzchok Yaakov Rabinowicz of Biala the author of Divrei Binah (d. 1905), youngest son of Rebbe Noson Dovid, son-in-law of Rebbe Yehoshua of Ostrova, author of Toldos Odom.
Grand Rabbi Yerachmiel Tzvi Rabinowicz of Biala-Shedlitz (1878- 7 Marcheshvan 1906), son of the Divrei Binah
Grand Rabbi Yechiel Yehoshua Rabinowicz Biala Rebbe of Jerusalem (1900-1981) author of Chelkas Yehoshua and Seder HaYom.
Grand Rabbi Dovid Matisyahu (Reb "Duv'tche") Rabinowicz (1928-1997), author of Lehavas Dovid, Biala Rebbe of Bnei Brak, son of Rebbe Yechiel Yehoshua.
Grand Rabbi Avrohom Rabinowicz, the Biala-Ostrover Rebbe in Jerusalem, son of Rabbi Dovid Matisyahu


Picture courtesy of Jewish Journal. Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.